Greater Lowell Community Foundation Seeks Request for Proposals for 2022 Discretionary Grant Cycles & Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation will open its 2022 Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund and Discretionary Grant Cycles on February 2 and is seeking requests for proposals from nonprofit organizations. The Foundation will award $160,000 through the Discretionary Grant Cycle. Funding areas for 2022 include children’s services, elder services and racial equity/inclusion.

Non-profit organizations serving the communities of Acton, Ashby, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Lowell, Pepperell, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford, and Wilmington are invited to apply.

Additionally, GLCF will open its 2022 Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund Cycle on February 2. The foundation seeks requests for proposals from non-profit organizations supporting the advancement of community health of residents in the following GLCF communities: Ashby, Ayer, Dunstable, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, and Westford. The Foundation will award $80,000 through this grant program.

Nashoba Valley Healthcare Fund Cycle grant awards will range from $5,000 up to $20,000; however, larger scale collaborative projects that are more than $20,000 will be considered if the funding request is justified by the impact of the project. Of particular interest are proposals that address systemic issues like (but not limited to) addiction/ substance abuse, domestic violence, food insecurity, mental health, suicide screening and prevention, obesity, racial equity and inclusion and other specific issues as indicated by community needs.

Grant applications for both grant opportunities must be submitted by noon on March 4, 2022. Grant recipients will be announced in May. More information is available on the foundation’s website:

For more information about the grant process, contact Sharon, GLCF Grants Coordinator with any questions at

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $55 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community.

PHOTO: Catie’s Closet, Inc. received a past Discretionary Children’s Grant to support their Lowell program. Pictured, Catie’s Closet volunteers with special request bags packed with urgently needed items for children.
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The MCC Foundation Invites the Community to “Take a Seat!”

LOWELL: “The work that the Middlesex Community College Foundation does makes such a difference in the lives of Middlesex students, and that is all thanks to our wonderful and generous donors,” said Judy Burke, MCC’s Executive Director of Institutional Advancement.

The MCC Foundation is inviting the community to “take a seat!” and donate to the college’s Aspire fundraising campaign in support of students, arts programming at Middlesex, and MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, which opened in 2018. Raising funds, connecting to the community, and supporting students is at the heart of both the missions of the MCC Foundation and Middlesex Community College, according to Burke.

“The Foundation raises money for student scholarships, provides opportunities for engagement inside and outside of the classroom, and creates and maintains spaces for our students to learn and thrive,” Burke said. “Often, this means the difference in a student’s ability to  complete their education, transfer to their next school, or enter the workforce equipped with the skills they need to be successful.”

Gifts donated as part of the “Take a Seat!” campaign can be made in honor of a family member, business or friend whose name will be engraved on a specially crafted metal plate and placed on a seat in the Academic Arts Center Theatre or Recital Hall.

“The Take-a-Seat effort offers our faculty, staff, students, alumni, College for Kids alumni and their parents an opportunity to share in the history of the Academic Arts Center, as well as the vision of the future,” said Sherri McCormack, MCC’s  Dean of Advancement. “By purchasing a
named seat, remembering a loved one, or honoring someone special, donors ensure that the state-of-the-art facility will remain so for many years to come.”

MCC’s Academic Arts Center holds classroom and performance spaces for the college’s theatre, music and dance programs, as well as space for multi-purpose activities. The center provides
space for educational activities serving Middlesex students, including College for Kids summer programming, the Lowell community and public-school system, the National Park Service, and other public and private agencies and organizations who partner with the college.

The Academic Arts Center Theatre holds 190 seats, while the Recital Hall has 103 seats. Donors can choose which space they would like their seat, based on availability. Each seat is a $750 donation. For more information, contact Judy Burke at

While the tax-deductible contribution does not reserve a seat at any performance, the donation highlights the donor’s generosity in supporting local arts and cultural programming.
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Free classes for Retirees!

LOWELL: The Learning in Retirement Association’s Zoom Intersession classes are free for all retirees. It’s always fun to learn new things and some of these will likely interest you.

1. Mount Washington Observatory: Home of the World's Worst Weather, presented by the observatory’s staff.  2. The Wyeths: An American Artistic Dynasty.  3. Volcanos, join Assistant Professor Richard Gasching and learn about the most volcanically active place on earth.  4. Banding Northern Saw-whet Owls at Lookout Rock.  5. Green Fertilizer, three UMass, Lowell graduate students developed fertilizer from air, water, and solar energy.  6. Railroads in the Western USA, from the transcontinental railroad to today’s essential transport system.  7. Cool Science is about climate change and extreme weather, presented by Associate Professor Jill Lohmeier.  8.  Japanese Dolls and the Friendship Exchange and “All About Ginny.”  9.  Turner’s Modern World - the British artist JMW Turner's career spanned tumultuous changes in Europe.  10. The Behavior of Cephalopods (Octopus, Squid, and Cuttlefish) by Professor Jane Boal.  11. Book discussions on Sapiens by Yuval Noah, and Hamnet by Maggi O’Farrell.

For more detailed class descriptions with dates and times for these free Zoom classes: then click on Course Schedules.

Guests, to receive the links for the free Zoom classes, email your full name with code AU1 to
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MCC and Living the Dream Partners to Host Virtual MLK Jr. Event

LOWELL: “Social progress is never attained by passive waiting. It comes only through the tireless efforts and passionate concern of dedicated individuals,” said Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his address delivered at the National Biennial Convention of the American Jewish Congress on May 14, 1958 in Miami Beach, Florida.  For over 20 years, the Living the Dream Event has celebrated the teachings and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., first started by Lura Smith and family, and the Middlesex Community College Foundation. 

A time for reflection and inspiration, at the 2022 virtual event, the Living the Dream Partners and Middlesex Community College invite the community to “take action” and do something meaningful inspired by Dr. King’s “Living the Dream.”

“From the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we have learned that even small actions lead to big changes,” said the Living the Dream Partners. “As we focus on creating a more equitable community, standing up for civil rights, and fighting against institutional racism, it is important that we not only ‘take action,’ but motivate others to do so as well.”

The celebration seeks to highlight the ways in which community members’ daily actions make a positive change in the lives of others. This year’s event will take place at 1pm on Monday, January 17, 2022, streaming on YouTube. 

Darcy Orellana, MCC’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, emphasizes the importance of 'intentionally participating in ongoing racial healing learning and practice.' “This program has a history of bringing us together for the day,” Orellana said. “This year, we are called to action beyond just the day to envision what the community might look, feel and be like when racism is ended. Through relationship building, truth-telling and healing, we have the foundations for racial equity and transformative change together.”

"It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a partner and sponsor of the Living the Dream celebration to honor the life and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Susan West Levine, CEO, Lowell Community Health Center. “It is an opportunity for us all to collectively renew our commitment to anti-racism and to continue to take bold steps, both large and small, in support of a just and equitable community."  

This year’s event will recognize four Living the Dream Together Award recipients for their service to the community and will feature musical and dance performances as well as pledges and reflections from across the community.  Visit for more information about the Living the Dream Partners, volunteer opportunities in the community, and sponsorship opportunities to go toward supporting student success.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Winter Advisory Regarding Face Coverings

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This Advisory has been updated as of December 21,  2021.

COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine boosters are highly effective at protecting against serious illness, hospitalization and death and every individual who is eligible and works, studies or resides in Massachusetts is strongly urged to get vaccinated and boosted. The Department of Public Health urges all eligible residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 because vaccination provides the most effective protection from severe illness associated with COVID-19.

In response to the spread of the Delta variant and the emerging Omicron variant, the Department of Public Health now advises that all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home). The DPH particularly urges this recommendation if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

Your primary care physician can advise you whether you are at increased risk.  Information from the Centers for Disease Control regarding the conditions that may put you at increased risk can be found at

All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities.  Please see for a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s current mask requirement and Policy on Vaccination Rate Threshold issued on September 27th, 2021 is not impacted by this advisory.  As a result of the most comprehensive and robust school testing program in the country, with 99% of public, collaborative and charter districts enrolled, Massachusetts elementary and secondary schools remain open and safe for children and youth to engage in learning, with over 325,000 school days saved. Only schools who can demonstrate they have high vaccination rates of over 80% of all individuals vaccinated are able to remove masks for vaccinated individuals upon a written attestation.
For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, it is especially important that you wear a face covering or mask any time you are indoors and not in your own home to reduce the chance that you may spread COVID-19 to other people. People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.

An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. However, if a fully vaccinated individual becomes symptomatic, they should be tested and wear a mask until receiving test results.
When you wear a face covering or cloth mask, it should:
  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

For more information, please refer to the CDC at:

Advent Invitation from Central Congregational Church

CHELMSFORD: Everyone has had their own experience through these past Covid months. For some it has been a time of great upheaval, loss, grief, disconnection. As we slowly tiptoe towards our new normal, many are finding themselves a bit adrift, uncertain, isolated, discontented, sad. Even beyond the impact of Covid, December has long been a difficult month. Our bodies mourn the lack of sunlight as the winter darkness creeps in; for many, the Christmas season brings strong memories of pain, loss or frustration.  This time of year coincides with the Church’s liturgical season of Advent.

Advent is a season of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas. It is a season of hope in the darkness. This year, Central Congregational Church is inviting anyone who is isolated, in mourning, feeling untethered; or who simply wants to hear the Christmas hymns again that they remember from their childhood to on the four Sundays of Advent. You do not need to believe, or donate money, or feel an expectation to attend regularly. As a mission to the community, the Church would like to offer up a safe, sacred space for any who would benefit from being in a community, listening to beautiful music and having a space to simply be. All are welcome. 

Recognizing that walking into a new Church can be exceptionally difficult, while you are welcome to visit the Church every Sunday, you may also wish to call Pastor Rich Knight to arrange to have someone meet you at the door and - if you wish - sit with you and help guide you through the service. You may also simply slip into the back pew or the balcony. Regardless of how you choose to visit, please wear a mask for the safety of all. 

If you are feeling adrift and disconnected, think about participating in these four weeks of expectant hope. Hope is something that we all need right now. Four Sundays of Peace, Hope and beautiful music – November 28, December 5, 12 and 19.

Four Sundays of Peace, Hope and beautiful music – November 28, December 5, 12 and 19 - 10:00AM at Central Congregational Church, UCC, 1 Worthen Street. To speak to Pastor Rich Knight or for more information, call (978) 256 5931.
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GLCF Scholarships Enable Donors to Give Back

LOWELL: A local business looking to hire engineers set up a scholarship program to help bring more woman into the field. A 24-year-old started a modest scholarship, funded in part by walking the Appalachian Trail, to help students at her high school pursue college degrees. Anonymous donors endowed a two-year scholarship for community college students after being inspired by the generosity of a complete stranger.

These are just a few of the unique scholarships the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) has helped benevolent individuals, groups and businesses set up over the years – all with the goal of giving back to their communities. “The Foundation manages about 400 scholarships per year,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF President & CEO. “Education is a big part of our mission. It is, and always will be, a gateway to success.”

Scholarships can be as varied as the students they benefit, added Howard Amidon, GLCF’s Vice President of Philanthropy. And it’s his job to make donors’ wishes come true. “I work with individuals and businesses to support their philanthropic goals,” Amidon explained. That can mean helping donors who reach out to the Foundation with very specific plans for a scholarship. Or working closely with altruistic individuals who don’t always have all the details figured out. “Sometimes donors come in and say, ‘I want to do something good, but I don’t have anything specific in mind.’ In that case, we ask them, ‘What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish?’ ”

Amidon is particularly excited about GLCF’s new Verda Annan Scholarship. It was established in honor of Verda Tetteh (pictured, now Verda Annan), then a 17-year-old Harvard-bound student who graduated from Fitchburg High School last June. At her graduation ceremony, Annan spontaneously declined the $40,000 FHS General Excellence Award she had just won. Instead, she asked the administration to pass on the award to a student – or students -- headed to community college who needed it more than she did.

After reading about Annan’s story, Amidon explained, a couple contacted GLCF with a unique request. “They wanted to emulate Verda’s generosity by establishing a two-year scholarship to help support graduating Lowell High School students go on to community college.” And, he added, the donors wanted to name the scholarship in honor of Annan, while they remained anonymous. Beginning this spring, the Verda Annan Scholarship will award $2,500 a year for two years to a qualified LHS student planning to attend any community college.

“These very generous people were inspired by someone they didn’t know, and saw that as a way to give back,” said GLCF President Linnehan. “They have succeeded because of their educations, and community colleges are very important to them. And, over time, as their endowment grows, this scholarship will grow, too.”

Annan, who changed her last name when she turned 18 to match her mother’s, was totally surprised when she learned about the prospect of an endowed scholarship established in her name. “My jaw dropped,” she said. “I’m so honored. When I initially gave up the FHS scholarship, I never imagined my actions would have a ripple effect. These donors went out of their way to be so generous and to help more students.”

Annan is also pleased the scholarship supports community college students. “When I was applying to colleges, there was a huge emphasis on being the ‘perfect’ student. We were advised that we needed to have a 4.0 GPA, be active in student government, in clubs, and play a sport. “But I understand that a good student who can be successful in college may not always check all those boxes,” she said. “And they may not have the resources to be engaged in those kinds of activities.”

With the help of a GLCF scholarship, local students can keep moving forward, said Linnehan. “It’s a privilege for the Foundation to help donors create scholarships to provide the resources these talented students need to continue their education.” To learn more about GLCF scholarships, visit:
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Chelmsford Community Bad Returns to Live Indoor Concerts

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Community Band will return to live indoor concerts on Sunday, December 12.  Join them for a musical holiday excursion: bundle up in your sleigh, listen to the bells, enjoy the lights, and feel the warmth of shared joy in beloved traditions and new favorites.  The music starts at 2pm at the McCarthy Middle School on North Road.  Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted to help support the band’s rehearsal space and sheet music purchases.  Suggested donations at the door are $5 for children and seniors and $10 for others. There will be seasonal raffle prizes available as well.  Masking will be required in the school.

The Chelmsford Community Band was founded in 1972 and is a volunteer group of adult musicians who greatly enjoy bringing live music to the greater Chelmsford area.  The concert band and jazz ensemble both perform several concerts throughout the year and on Chelmsford Common every summer. Look for them online at, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. 
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Middlesex CC’s Theatre Department Returns to Live Performances 

LOWELL: “Shakespeare is back,” said Karen Oster, Middlesex Community College’s Chair of Performing Arts. “We are excited to be presenting this production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to you. It is so important that every theatre student have the opportunity to take part in a Shakespearean play. Therefore, every other fall theatre program at Middlesex has been presenting one of Shakespeare’s works.”

William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” features five connecting stories centered around the wedding of the Duke of Athens Theseus and the Amazon Queen Hippolyta. One of Shakespeare’s comedies, the play is based in the woodlands of the fictional Fairyland and set under the moonlight. Oster – who is the director of the play – emphasizes that the college will be following strict health and safety guidelines for performers and audience members based on state mandated COVID-19 protocols. Because of the pandemic, she has chosen projects that allow performers to remain safely distanced while on stage. 

Throughout the first part of the pandemic, Middlesex was able to successfully put on livestreamed and socially distanced productions. The show’s cast and crew – including MCC Studio Arts and Technical Theatre student Jade Gordon who is designing the lights and costumes for the show – is excited to return to performances in front of a live audience. 
“After over a year performing with livestreamed audiences in a silent, empty theatre, I can’t express how excited I am to know the cast and crew’s hard work on ‘Midsummer’ will be presented to an in-person audience,” Gordon said. “Karen has done a wonderful job keeping our community tight-knit and forward gazing throughout the pandemic, but there’s nothing quite like the promise of hearing real, live laughter to inspire us to all bring our best work to the stage.”

Curtain times for MCC’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” are 7pm on December 9, 10 and 11, as well as 2pm on December 12. The performances will take place at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center, 240 Central Street. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for MCC faculty and staff, and free for all Middlesex students. Visit for more information or contact to buy tickets.

With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex Street. Visit for more information.

Hybrid Holiday Faire at Aldersgate UMC

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CHELMSFORD: Aldersgate UMC in Chelmsford, 242 Boston Road, is hosting its annual Holiday Faire both online and in person this year. From November 29 through December 4, use the link to:
  • Purchase wreaths & swags online
  • Bid on knitting & other craft items online 
  • Bid on items offered through the silent auction (bidding ends at 2pm on Saturday)

You can also contact the church office to place an order by phone at 978.256.9400 or email at Payments may be made online with a credit card or by check or cash when items are picked up.
On December 4 from 10am to 2pm, visit the faire in person for a limited selection of wreaths, swags, centerpieces, crafts, and “grab and go” baked goods.All items can be picked up at the church on Sunday, December 5, between 11am and 3pm.

Note: Masks must be worn at all times while in the church building.  For more information, visit

Domestic Violence Roundtable Invites You to Support Holiday Drives for Families Affected by Abuse

Each year the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable sponsors a family for the holidays, and each year we invite our local communities to become involved in making the holidays brighter for families affected by domestic violence. Families in shelter for the holidays face a sad and difficult time as they are separated from family and friends and are hiding from their abusers.

The Covid 19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it has been especially difficult for families affected by abuse. With the help of our local communities, these families can have happy holidays. There are a number of ways that you can help. Sponsoring a family can be a wonderful way for you and your family to do something together to help others. You can also involve extended family, neighbors, and friends. Or perhaps your colleagues at work, your book club, scout troop, civic organization, or club would like to organize a collection. Your participation in a holiday drive can help relieve the stress and depression that overcome shelter families at this time of year. The support that comes from the community at this time of year reinforces their decisions to seek safety and end violence in their lives. Each gift, each donation, each good holiday wish has a positive effect on their self-esteem and boosts their spirits.

Three local agencies offer services and programs for families affected by domestic violence. All of these programs conduct a Holiday Drive. For further information about how you might help, please contact:

Holiday drives start early so that agencies have time to process donations. In some cases, gift cards are being collected so families can shop and wrap their presents. Call now to see how you can help.

Open Gate Garden Club of Chelmsford Makes Donation to The Paul Center

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CHELMSFORD: Open Gate Garden Club began as a club in 1962 and started its long association with Camp Paul/The Paul Center in 1968 with a garden therapy program creating vegetable and flower gardens with the children and also helping with landscaping projects. The Paul Center, which began as Camp Paul is “dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities in developing their maximum potential and independence.” The place was named for Ray Paul who provided the land for the place to be built.

In 2015, one of the club’s original members, Helen Ralowicz passed away. A fund was begun by members of her family to honor her. It was decided to do something with the money at The Paul Center and discussions with The Paul Center were entered into as to what could be done. A plan was decided on. The Center wanted to put up decorative fencing and plantings around campus to provide a visually appealing and safe environment for students with challenges and include raised beds which will highlight the entrance to the Barrett Center and provide a learning opportunity for students to plant and maintain the flowers. Also planned was a new walkway and patio area behind the Administration Building, as well as new perennial gardens in that area. There are currently 3 raised vegetable beds in need of some minor repair, but also plans to further enhance the vegetable gardens. Not only will this facilitate a learning experience around gardening, but also will allow for opportunities such as cooking or perhaps even running a small vegetable stand, where students could share what they have grown and work on social and money skills. The teaching opportunities are many. The club was excited about the projects and agreed to donate to it.

The Ralowicz family was approached and also like the idea as Helen had spent many summers working with the club’s garden therapy program there and had even chaired the program. The Paul Center agreed to put a plaque on the fence in Helen’s name, but her family requested that more of the club be remember. Four other names will be added to the plaque (June Cook, Betty Cole, Elinor Eschner and Sally Sweeney), all of whom were original club members who had remained in the club until their passing and all of whom had worked in and chaired the garden therapy program at the camp.

The Paul Center began the project and then Covid hit slowing the project. Recently the project has begun moving forwarded and the Open Gate Garden Club Treasurer, Janet Veino presented a check for $4000 to the center for the project. 

PHOTO: Cindy Sabella, Co-Executive Director; Brian Reidym Board VP & Brian Landers, Board President with Open Gate Treasurer, Janet Veino.

Middlesex CC to Host Writer at On Campus Event

LOWELL: As part of the Visiting Writers Series, Middlesex Community College will host fiction and creative nonfiction writer Matthew Zanoni Müller at an event where he will talk to students about the value of writing. He hopes to show students the ways in which writing can help them better understand their own thinking. 

Calling writing both a “clarifying force” and “a tool for inquiry,” to Müller, “using words as a medium for communication – whether we are writing them or reading them – allows for greater empathy and understanding in the world.” During MCC’s Visiting Writers Series, Müller will read from some of his work and students will have the opportunity to ask questions. The event will take place in the college’s Assembly Room of the Lowell campus Federal Building at 12:30pm on Thursday, December 2, 2021. 

“Writing has given me a way of existing in the world that has heightened my observational skills, my engagement with other people, my interest in human behavior, politics, art and nature,” Müller said. “My hope – in talking to students about writing – is that I can impart some of these gifts and get them excited about taking on writing projects of their own.”

An Associate Nonfiction Editor at Pithead Chapel – an online literary journal and small press –– Müller is an Associate Professor of English at Berkshire Community College. He holds a BA in Creative Writing and Literature from Emerson College and an MFA in Fiction from Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. In 2014, Loyola University’s Apprentice House Press published “Drops on the Water: Stories about Growing Up from a Father and Son,” a memoir co-written with his father. Müller’s work has also appeared in literary journals and magazines – The Southeast Review, NANO Fiction, The Boiler Journal, decomP magazine, Halfway Down the Stairs and Hippocampus.

The event is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. Contact or call 978-656-3363 or visit for more information.

Calling all Bakers for the Gingerbread Village

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CHELMSFORD: Calling all Bakers for the Gingerbread Village at All Saints’ Church at 10 Billerica Road, being held this year on December 4 from 2pm to 7pm, and December 5 from 3pm to 6pm. All Bakers, non-bakers, Girl and Boy Scout troops, clubs and families are encouraged to be creative. All entries - homemade or pre-made kits - are welcome to the display. There is no charge to participate. Builders timeline for drop off the Gingerbread Houses at the Church is Thursday, December 2 between 10am and 6pm. Each house that is donated will have a box for raffle tickets in front of it. Raffle tickets will be sold at the event to raise money for St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen in Lowell. For more information, visit

GLCF Awards $56K in Additional Grants to Greater Lowell Nonprofits

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LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) announced it deployed a new round of COVID-19 related grants, providing an additional $56,650 to 14 nonprofits in Greater Lowell serving vulnerable populations. These grants were part of the latest round of distributions from the GLCF’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and Community Needs Fund.

“Greater Lowell nonprofits have demonstrated remarkable creativity and resiliency throughout the pandemic,” said GLCF president & CEO Jay Linnehan. “Through the generosity of our donors, we continue to support nonprofit programs that are so vital to our community through this latest round of funding.”

The 6 nonprofits receiving grants in the latest round of the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to address needs are:
  • $10,000 to The Phoenix for Community Recovery Support Program in Lowell
  • $10,000 to Budget Buddies for BB Signature Financial Empowerment Program
  • $10,000 to Troubled Waters (Lowell) for Avoiding Isolation during COVID
  • $6,900 to Dwelling House of Hope for Family Hygiene Day (PPE) And COVID-19 Educational
  • $10,000 to Whistler House Museum of Art (Lowell) for COVID Safe Support
  • $1,750 to Leaving the Streets for Holiday Assistance Food Baskets Program

Among the grants funded was The Phoenix for Community Recovery Support Program in Lowell. “We know that community support and meaningful relationships are key factors in helping folks thrive in recovery,” said Sydney Durand, Regional Director, The Phoenix. “While the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an already devastating addiction and mental health crisis, The Phoenix was able to adapt programs to ensure that many more individuals and families affected by addiction could access a safe, sober network. The Phoenix is so grateful to the Greater Lowell Community Foundation for its support and continued partnership to keep the community connected to free recovery support.”

Since March of 2019, through grants from the GLCF COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund and the Massachusetts COVID Relief Fund, the foundation has supported more than 130 local nonprofit organizations with grants totaling over $4.9 million.

The 8 nonprofits receiving $1,000 grants from the GLCF Community Needs Fund to support Thanksgiving food insecurity initiatives for vulnerable populations in Greater Lowell are:
  • Billerica Community Pantry, Inc.
  • Chelmsford Community Exchange
  • Elliott Church (Lowell)
  • End 68 Hours of Hunger/Dracut
  • Open Pantry of Greater Lowell
  • People Helping People, Inc. (Burlington)
  • Pepperell Aid from Community to Home (PACH Outreach)
  • Stone Soup Kitchen - Living Water Fellowship (Ayer)
  • Westford Food Pantry (pictured)

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $55 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community.

Lowell Chamber Orchestra Performs in MCC’s “World of Music”

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LOWELL/BEDFORD: As part of Middlesex Community College’s Fall 2021 “A World of Music” concert series, the college will host a live, in-person performance of “As One,” a ground-breaking opera portraying the challenges, joys and fears of the trans experience.

Middlesex is dedicated to providing all students with access to an equitable education and opportunities that enrich their time at the college. Offering performances that emphasize acceptance, inclusivity and representation is important to a student’s overall college experience and future success, according to Orlando Cela, MCC Assistant Professor of Music.
“The Lowell Chamber Orchestra is proud to collaborate once more with MCC’s ‘A World of Music’ concert series to put on this performance,” Cela said. “It is so important to provide platforms for those whose voices need to be heard and celebrated, especially by performers who represent that particular population. The significance of the concert is made even more special by being performed on November 20, International Transgender Day of Remembrance.”

The concert will feature mezzo-soprano Tona Brown and baritone Rahzé Cheatham in the lead roles, supported by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, with Cela conducting. “As One” was written by Laura Kaminsky (music and concept), Mark Campbell (libretto), and Kimberly Reed (libretto and film). 

In October 2021, The Lowell Chamber Orchestra was awarded third place in the country for The American Prize Competition for the Performing Arts.  The performance will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 20 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in the Theatre in Lowell. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

The final performance of MCC’s “A World of Music” Fall 2021 concert series will be an MCC Student Recital at 12:30pm on Monday, December 13 in Bedford.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at or (781) 280-3923.

NETSCOUT Awards Seventh Grant to Lowell Association for the Blind with Greater Lowell Community Foundation

LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation, a philanthropic organization comprised of over 390 funds, currently totaling over $50 million, dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns, announced that NETSCOUT, a leading provider of service assurance, security, and business analytics, has awarded its Heart of Giving community program’s seventh grant through the Greater Lowell Community Foundation. The annual grant program builds relationships with nonprofit organizations and engages employees in learning about service opportunities in the communities of Greater Lowell.

“Giving back to the community in which it operates amplifies a company’s greater purpose and NETSCOUT demonstrates this commitment to supporting important local causes,” said Jay Linnehan, president and CEO, Greater Lowell Community Foundation. “Connecting philanthropic businesses and individuals to the needs of their communities is at the heart of our work. We are proud to be in the 7th year of the NETSCOUT Heart of Giving Community Grant at the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.”

“The Lowell Association for the Blind would like to thank NETSCOUT for this grant that allowed us to get a new embosser which can print and do Braille on the same document, as well as the Greater Lowell Community Foundation for their hard work and assistance in making this grant available,” said Elizabeth Cannon, Executive Director, LAB. “The embosser can also do tactile graphics, and it is amazing to hear our clients when they feel the graphics.  It’s always ‘that’s so cool!’”

From reading a grant proposal to learning about the organizations in the community and filtering through the worthy applications in order to select the finalists, and participating in work sessions with the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, employees have the opportunity to learn how nonprofits are addressing important issues in the community. From the grant submissions, three finalists were selected and invited to virtually present to NETSCOUT corporate headquarters and share how their organizations would best serve the community, how they would use the grant funds, and their ideas for employee community service projects.
The NETSCOUT Heart of Giving global philanthropy program includes disaster relief, community service projects, employee matching gifts and volunteer grants, and corporate charitable contributions.

Lowell Association for the Blind (LAB) is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to working with the blind and visually impaired. Established in 1923, the Association has been serving the Greater Lowell/ Merrimack Valley community for over 91 years. LAB is supported by contributions from memorial donations, grants from foundations, and program funding. The office in downtown Lowell provides 4,000 sq. feet of easily accessible space for meetings, adaptive equipment training, Braille lessons and a radio/recording studio.
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MCC’s “World of Music” to Hold a Halloween-themed Performance

LOWELL/BEDFORD: Middlesex Community College is celebrating Halloween early with a live, in-person performance of their Fall 2021 “A World of Music” concert series. Audience members can experience “The Black Cat” by Larry Bell for cello, piano and narrator, based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. 
“Larry and I overlapped at Juilliard many years ago, and I have been an admirer of his compositions ever since,” said Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department. “He truly captures the gothic quality of Poe’s writing in this work. This is a program which everyone will enjoy, and we are so delighted that we can present this live!”

Additional haunting music by Gabriela Lena Frank, Edvard Grieg and Camille Saint-Saëns will be featured. MCC faculty members Rodríguez-Peralta, piano, and Orlando Cela, flute, will be joined by Sam Ou, cello, and Bell, composer/narrator.
The performance will take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 29 at MCC’s Concert Hall in Bedford. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

Other performances in the semester include a concert featuring the Lowell Chamber Orchestra in “Opera: As One,” at 7:30pm on Saturday, November 20 in Lowell, and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30pm on Monday, December 13 in Bedford. 

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at or 781-280-3923. Visit for directions to campus and more information about parking.

Announcing a Change to Mattress & Box Spring Curbside Collection Effective November 1st

CHELMSFORD: In an effort to continue to reduce environmental impact, the Town of Chelmsford in a partnership with UTEC Mattress Recycling, will begin to recycle mattresses and box springs collected at the curb. Not only will this divert material from the incinerator, but it reclaims valuable material from the waste stream and supports a local social services enterprise.
The Town has been awarded a Mattress Recycling Incentive grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP) to develop a recycling program that will eventually be mandated by the State through a waste ban on mattress and box spring disposal. In order to take advantage of subsidized recycling costs and to adapt to this change before it is required through legislation, the Town of Chelmsford is rolling out the new program on November 1st, 2021.

Residents will now need to visit to schedule and pay for curbside collection of mattresses and/or box springs. The fee for pick up is $30 per piece ($30 for the mattress and an additional $30 for the box spring). Mattresses and box springs will be scheduled to be picked up from the curb twice a month and you will receive your scheduled collection date in a confirmation email from UTEC once scheduling is complete.
  • MATTRESSES ACCEPTED: Traditional mattresses, mattress & box springs; full foam mattresses; discolored or worn mattresses that are not wet; twin, double, queen, king, CA king and crib sized.
  • MATTRESSES NOT ACCEPTED: NO futons or fold-out sofa beds; NO mattress pads or toppers; NO infant sleeping pads; and NO air or water beds.

PLEASE NOTE: Republic Services will no longer be picking up mattresses and box springs at the curb. If you have questions or need assistance scheduling online, please call Melissa Joyce, Sustainability Manager at 978.250.5203.
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Chelmsford Has a New Public Garden

CHELMSFORD: Next Spring when you drive around the corner in front of the Adams Library in Chelmsford Center, you will see a new garden full of blooming native and pollinator attracting plants. In 2004, The Country Lane Garden Club of Chelmsford, under the leadership of Sue Spicer, designed and installed an educational garden at the Adams Library in Chelmsford. It is located on the corner with the flag pole in the Center. Since that time the members of the Club have consistently maintained the garden. The garden design was based on plants that would have been in vogue in 1894, the year the main Library was constructed. A brochure was written to explain the uses of all the plants, both medicinal and culinary.

During the intervening 17 years garden conditions (more shade from a nearby tree, warmer summers) and horticultural concerns have changed. Eighteen months ago, the Club members determined that it would make sense to replant the plot with  native plants that would stand a better chance of thriving and filling in thus making weeding less necessary and creating more visual impact for pedestrians and passing car traffic. These plants would also attract more pollinators which is a major concern with the climate changes that are under way.

Funding for the projected cost of $2000 was provided by the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, Friends of the Library, and by the Club itself. Country Lane worked with Weston Nurseries to obtain the plants, some of which were hard to find. A committee of five Club members compiled and then edited an extensive native plant list, and Alison Tannenbaum executed the design and planting plan.

This past week the Club completed the replanting task. The entire 14-member Club participated in the effort. Beginning in Fall 2020 , close to 30 plants were removed and potted up for sale at Country Lane’s annual Spring plant sale. In Spring 2021, 44 plants were installed and more plants were removed. In October 2021, another 78 plants were put in. Wood chips were laid in the path ways. Next spring, mulch and a more durable surfacing for the pathways will be installed.

“We hope that visitors to the library and passersby will enjoy the newly renovated garden”, said current Club President Brenda Morris.

The Country Lane Garden Club meets the second Monday evening of the Month 8 times a year. Currently the Club is exercising Covid protocols and holding many meetings by Zoom or outdoors. For further information about the Club and becoming a member contact
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SAVE THE DATE! Annual Holiday Open House & Kitty Angels Weekend

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AMHERST, NH: SAVE THE DATE! Treasures Antiques, Collectables & MORE!, located at 106 Ponemah Road will be hosting their 31st Annual Holiday Open House and Kitty Angels Fundraising weekend on November 6 and 7. Festivities for the weekend will run both days from 10AM till 4PM and includes Holiday inspired shopping, raffles and entertainment.
The Open House event has been a mainstay in the community since its inception back in 1991. Kitty Angels, Inc. will be offering information on their organization, adoptions and donations. Representatives from the Amherst Animal Hospital, who has worked alongside Kitty Angels for decades and has cared for some of worst cases of critically ill or injured kitties, will also be on hand. There will be various, live musical entertainment provided by soloists, duos and bands, including Joey Peavey, Wildwood, North Sound Duo, Levi Maxwell, Jeff Damon, and The Grog Tones!
This Holiday and Fundraising event, is pet and kid friendly and will offer special sales for all, inside and out. There will again, be a petting zoo and horse and pony rides by Mapledell Farm of Townsend, MA. The weekend festivities will showcase artists and artisans, crafters, professionals, food vendors, featuring a live demonstration of oil painting and techniques by artist Eric Nickola, dba WolfpacStudios. Eric’s artwork will be on display and for sale. He also offers commission work. Artist Lori-Ellen Budenas of Respect the Wood!, a creator of abstract paintings, coasters, trivets and more, and Monica Gesualdo of Trading Faces – a face painting and body art artist will also be on site. Visit with Arty Mitchell at the ARUBACAT cat furniture truck. Some of the other longtime supporting vendors as well as several new vendors to the event will include: Mal’s Grill, with his Famous pulled pork tacos, Jerk Chicken Sandwiches and signature Mac & Cheese, etc., jewelry designers Freedom Jewelry, J. W. Young Studio, Heart’s Design Jewelry and Karen’s Pieces, Happy Cat Company LLC - Gourmet Granola and Maple Syrup, LuLaRoe, Vinyl Revival, Dusty Finds, The Spirit of Cacao, Anthony Acres, Puckerbrush Life, Color Street, Heavenly Goddess, Usborne Books, Fudge & Stuff, Tupperware, Custom Care Designs and many more.
Treasures will also be offering a number of fun and exciting raffles, with prizes donated by local and national businesses. Prizes will include a “Chain-sawed” wood carving done by Sara of NorthStar Sculptures, an ARUBACAT cat tree and other cat and dog related items, jewelry, specialty food packages, and an assortment of other fun and exciting prizes.
Kitty Angels, Inc., a no-kill cat shelter is made up of all unpaid volunteers and is dedicated to rescuing stray and abandoned cats and furnishing them with treatment for injuries or other health issues. These cats are then placed into life-long, loving “forever homes” with compatible owners. All necessary steps are taken to insure the wellbeing of the cats, including spaying and neutering and providing rabies, distemper and other necessary vaccinations. They are a non-profit, charitable corporation and all donations are fully tax-deductible with every penny of each donation going directly to the care of these cats.
Please join Treasures and Kitty Angels, in friendship and the spirit of sharing the Holidays. For more information, visit and

Women Working Wonders Fund Presents Virtual Power of the Purse Plus Fundraiser

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LOWELL: The Women Working Wonders (WWW) Fund, a permanently endowed fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, will host their annual Power of the Purse Plus fundraising event as an Online Auction and Raffle from October 10-15, 2021. This virtual fundraiser is where handbags and accessories take center stage.

“At Women Working Wonders, we know that a purse is more than a mere accessory or fashion statement. The purse is a symbol of power, of a collective philanthropic dedication to improve the lives of girls and women, and thus improve society,” said Carolyn Gregoire, Women Working Wonders Fund board president. “The Women Working Wonders Fund’s Power of the Purse Plus is key to our ability to raise funds for grants that improve the lives of girls and women in Greater Lowell.”

This year’s Power of the Purse Plus features exclusive Tory Burch and Louis Vuitton Raffles. Tory Burch raffle tickets are $20 each, or $10 each on October 10, which is National Handbag Day. Louis Vuitton raffle tickets are $50. Additionally, there will be over 65 auction items available. Participants may register to bid and purchase raffle tickets online through Bidpal (

Proceeds from the Power of the Purse Plus event support local programs that empower women and girls to effect positive change in the community. Women Working Wonders provides annual grants in three key areas: assisting women in transition, providing leadership development, and contributing to the beautification of the environment. WWW fund has distributed 51 grants totaling over $250,000 since its inception in 2004. In 2021 Women Working Wonders proudly awarded $56,800 to six Greater Lowell nonprofits.

Recipients of 2021 WWW grants:
  • Budget Buddies: $10,000 for New Workshop for Women: Financial Health for Families with Children
  • Challenge Unlimited: $10,000 for Equine Encounter: Healing to Leadership for Girls and Women 
  • Coalition for a Better Acre: $10,000 for Sewing Training Program 
  • Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell: $10,000 for Leadership Academy
  • Refuge Lowell: $10,000 for Girls and Young Women Creating Community Through Public Art
  • International Institute of NE: $6,800 for Creating New Avenues for Success (CNAFS)

“The grant from the Women Working Wonders Fund will help to initiate an exciting new program that fosters education about public art, street art, community murals, and installations in a typically male-dominated arena,” said Nikki Giraffo, founder of Refuge Lowell. “This program will empower middle and high school girls to develop personal and conceptual content for their public art projects.”

For more information, visit or contact

PHOTO: By Henry Marte - A student at Refuge Lowell, a recent recipient of a $10,000 grant to fund a program for girls and young women creating community through public art from the Women Working Wonders Fund.
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Award-Winning Poet and Writer to Speak at Middlesex CC

BEDFORDAs part of the Visiting Writers Series, Middlesex Community College will host poet and writer DeMisty D. Bellinger at an outdoor event. By speaking at the college, she hopes to “show students that writing is a possibility, both as a career and hobby.”

“I want to help them understand the art of writing – and like any other art – its worth of exploration for the sake of beauty alone, as well as commentary,” Bellinger said. “Furthermore, I want them to know that there are writers who are active now, who are living people that create and try to interpret the world in the way that they know how.”

She also wants to emphasize to students the importance of writing as communication, whether it be through poetry and fiction or in more general ways, such as text messages, emails or articles. “We write to present our perceptions and to persuade others to see the world as we do,” she said.

A poetry editor at Malarkey Books, Bellinger is also an alumni reader at Prairie Schooner. At Fitchburg State University, she teaches creative writing, African American studies, and women, gender and sexuality studies. For her work, she has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and The Marge Piercy Intensive Poetry Workshop. Bellinger has published two books of poetry, “Rubbing Elbows” (2017, Finishing Line Press) and “Peculiar Heritage” (2021, Mason Jar Press). Her fiction and nonfiction writing have been published in a variety of literary journals and magazines, including Necessary Fiction, Modern Poetry Quarterly Review, Kweli, The Ekphrastic Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Eureka and Forklift, Ohio. Her poetry, fiction and essays have been included in anthologies, including From the Ashes: An International Anthology of Womxn’s Poetry, Best Small Fictions 2019, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, and Teacher Voice.

Bellinger’s event will take place in the Bedford Campus Quad Canopy Tent at 12:30pm on Wednesday, October 20. MCC Visiting Writers Series is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program and the Office of Student Engagement. Contact or call 978-656-3363 or visit for more information.
If you’ve ever dealt with someone making threats against you, been the subject of physical or verbal attacks, had rumors floated about you, or been purposely excluded from a group, then you know what it’s like to be bullied. During October, we recognize National Bullying Prevention Month and raise awareness and focus on bullying.

Bullying is any unwanted and aggressive behavior that involves a power imbalance, whether real or perceived. It’s typically behavior that is repeated again and again over a period of time.

Technology, with all the benefits it provides, also has made bullying easier and more widespread. Cyberbullying includes the distribution of mean or inappropriate email or text messages, the use of social media to post rumors or embarrassing photos, videos, messages, and even fake profiles.

For more information on ways to prevent, respond, or act against bullying, visit, which is a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services.

If your child has been the victim of bullying and you’ve noticed a change in his or her mental health as a result, or if your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. In Massachusetts, every 5.28 days on an average a young person (ages 10-24) is lost to the silent epidemic of youth suicide.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

The Jason Foundation is another available resource.  The Jason Foundation is dedicated to the awareness and prevention of youth suicide through educational programs that equip youth, parents, educators, and the community with the tools and resources to identify and assist at-risk youth. One element of these tools and resources is free online training that anyone may utilize. Among the training modules available is one dedicated to the study of bullying and suicide. Visit and click Training for more information. 

Chelmsford Fall Town Meeting October 18

NORTH CHELMSFORD: The Fall Annual Town Meeting will convene on October 18 at 7:30pm at the Senior Center. There are 30 articles under consideration. The Meeting sessions will also be televised live by Chelmsford Telemedia.

The Town Meeting Representatives will consider funding for roadway construction, charter amendments pertaining to town meeting representative elections, and amendments to the zoning bylaw pertaining to stormwater design guidelines. The elected 162 Town Meeting Representatives from across the Town’s nine voter precincts vote on the town meeting warrant articles. However, any registered voter is welcome to participate in the debate at Town Meeting.

If you are interested in serving on a public board or committee, check the Town’s website regularly for vacancies and fill out an application Contact 978-250-5201 with any questions or comments.

MCC’s Concert Series Turns 20 & Returns to Live Performances 

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LOWELL/BEDFORD: Celebrating 20 years of the “A World of Music” concert series, Middlesex Community College will return to in-person performances. Carmen Rodríguez-Peralta, MCC’s Chair of the Music Department, is “delighted to celebrate this milestone” and once again perform for a live audience. “The performers enjoy connecting directly with students and the community through the great variety of music we offer, and we all look forward to these live performances,” Rodríguez-Peralta said. “This fall, we will present new compositions set to the text of Jack Kerouac, offer a Halloween concert, feature a ground-breaking opera examining the trans experience, and conclude with an MCC student recital.”

In collaboration with the “Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival” and the Lowell Chamber Orchestra, this event will feature a panel discussion on Jack Kerouac’s works and how to craft musical meaning when setting his text to music. Three new compositions by MCC faculty member Aaron Rosenberg, former MCC faculty member Mark Berger and Karl Henning, set to selected texts by Kerouac, will be premiered. MCC President Phil Sisson will conclude the program by reading a Kerouac poem while Todd Brunel, bass clarinet, improvises a Jazz solo. Performers will also include members of the Lowell Chamber Orchestra with soprano Rose Hegele and MCC faculty members Rodríguez-Peralta and Rosenberg playing the piano on different selections.

The performance will take place at 7:30pm on October 7 at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Academic Arts Center in the Recital Hall in Lowell. While all of the performers and speakers have agreed to be fully vaccinated, the college is requiring audience members to wear masks to performances throughout the duration of the Fall 2021 concert series.

Other performances throughout the semester include a Halloween concert featuring MCC faculty members, “The Black Cat” at 8pm on October 29 in Bedford; the Lowell Chamber Orchestra in “Opera: As One,” at 7:30pm on November 20 in Lowell; and a Middlesex Student Recital at 12:30pm on December 13 in Bedford.

All “World of Music” concerts are free and open to the public. For more information about MCC’s Fall 2021 concert series, visit or contact Rodríguez-Peralta at or 781-280-3923. MCC’s Academic Arts Center is located at 240 Central Street in Lowell. With parking not available on site, the nearest public parking facility is the Early Garage on 135 Middlesex St. in Lowell. Visit for more information.

Lowell Sportsmen's Club Hosts Annual Open House

NORTH CHELMSFORD: The Lowell Sportsmen's Club is holding its annual Open House on September 25, from 12pm-4pm.  This is a free event with activities for the entire family. Highlights of the day include a live "Reptiles Rock" show, a craft for kids, and members the Chelmsford Police and Chelmsford Fire will be on hand to demonstrate their equipment and talk about their role in the community.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about and try a variety of shooting sports, including trap, skeet, black powder, high power rifle, and .22 and air gun plinking.  Instructors will also be available on the archery range and fishing pond to help improve your skills.

Free hamburgers and hotdogs will be served from the snack shack.  There will also be details on membership, firearms safety, and other club information at the Welcome Tent. The Club is located at 50 Swain Road.  Visit for more information.

The Lowell Sportsmen's Club was formed in 1913 in downtown Lowell, and is one of New England's oldest! The club is currently located on 70+ acres, on which men, women, and junior club members - experienced and novices alike - enjoy participating in a variety of activities available at LSC. The club offers competitive and recreational trap, skeet, archery, pistol, rifle, and black powder ranges, fishing ponds, and facilities for camping, canoeing, and hiking. Every Thursday night at 6:30 is open-to-the-public archery!  Visit for more information and additional events.

Trio Primavera Concert at Central Congregational Church, UCC

CHELMSFORD: Central Congregational Church, UCC of Chelmsford is thrilled to host a free concert by Trio Primavera on Sunday, October 3 at 3pm. They will play two Haydn piano trios:  Piano Trio XV:16 in A Major, Piano Trio XV:18 in D Major, and a Beethoven Piano Trio Opus 70 No.2 in E-flat Major.

The performers all started their studies in Europe before coming to the Boston area to study and perform. Tudor Bota, pianist, is the founder of Trio Primavera. He began his studies and performances in Romania, where he was born. He has played solo performances with many orchestras in Europe before continuing his studies and career in the United States. Tudor Dornescu, violinist, also started his studies in Romania, before coming to the US to study.  He received a doctorate in violin performance from Boston University.  Dornescu has performed in many concerts in Europe and the United States. Velleda Miragias, cellist, began her studies in her native France before coming to study in the United States. She performs with many chamber groups and orchestras in Greater Boston and is on the faculties of several schools in the area.

Central Congregational Church, UCC of Chelmsford is located at 1 Worthen Street. Masks are required.  A free-will offering will be taken. This concert will also be live streamed on Church's YouTube and Facebook channels.

Greater Lowell Community Foundation Announces new Afghan Resettlement Fund

LOWELL: The Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) recently announced a new GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund. Unanimously approved by the GLCF Board on Sept. 10, GLCF created this fund to support local nonprofits charged with Afghan refugee resettlements. With an influx of new refugees from Afghanistan arriving in Greater Lowell, the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund will support the efforts of Greater Lowell organizations to help ensure those in need are welcomed and connected with housing, employment, transportation, food, acculturation, and other related support.

“In times of humanitarian need, GLCF gives where it is most needed in the community,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF’s President and CEO. “As Afghan refugees and evacuees arrive in the coming months, the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund will support area nonprofits providing critical support needed to welcome and resettle this population.”

Donations to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund can be made online at or by mail to the GLCF Afghan Resettlement Fund c/o GLCF, 100 Merrimack Street, Suite 202, Lowell, MA 01852.

MCC To Run Vaccination Clinics on Campus Open to Community

LOWELL: With the start of the Fall 2021 semester, Middlesex Community College wants to provide students, faculty, staff and community members with access to the COVID-19 vaccine. To keep the community healthy and safe, MCC will run two vaccination clinics on September 13 and 17.

“As a leader in the community, Middlesex is proud to actively meet the needs of the people we serve,” said Phil Sisson, MCC’s President. “Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex has guided the community to the resources and support they need not only to reach their academic goals, but to fulfill their personal and professional needs as well. MCC believes that the best way for the college to continue to help is to host vaccination clinics on our campus. They are open to the public and we encourage anyone who needs one to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Both clinics will run 11am to 2pm on the college’s campus in Lowell. On September 13, the clinic will take in MCC’s Federal building at 50 Kearney Square, and on September 17, it will be in the college’s Talbot building, 44 Middle Street.

As a Champion College, Middlesex supports the White House in sharing informed and scientific facts about the vaccine and all of the ways that getting a shot helps in the fight against COVID-19. With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise in Massachusetts due to the Delta variant, doctors and scientists are encouraging people 12 years of age and older to get their shot to help control infections within the community. After being named a Vaccine Champion College by the White House, Middlesex ran a one-day clinic in June 2021 in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Public Health. The September clinics are in addition to the June clinic and is open to the public. 

Science proves that getting a vaccine is the best way for individuals to protect themselves, their friends and families from the virus. Results show that these vaccines are safe, stop the spread and lower death rates. Not only will getting the vaccine help make communities safer, it will also lead to a faster return to a more normal life – without having to worry about getting sick or passing the virus on to someone else.

Upon arriving for their appointment, community members are asked to wear a mask that covers their noses and mouths at all times while inside the building. They should also expect to wait up to 15 minutes after receiving their vaccination.
Visit to register for a shot at MCC’s COVID-19 one-day vaccination clinic.

PHOTO: Middlesex Community College will run vaccination clinics from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both Monday, September 13 and Friday, September 17. MCC staff and students filmed vaccination PSAs with LTC.

GLCF to Host Annual Celebrate Giving Event with Focus on Cultural Equity

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LOWELL: On Wednesday, October 13, 2021, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) will host its annual Celebrate Giving event as a hybrid event, predominantly virtual, with limited in-person tickets. The event will highlight the contributions of local organizations committed to making an impact on the community through cultural equity.

This year’s keynote speaker is San San Wong, Director of Arts & Creativity, Barr Foundation. San San Wong directs Barr’s Arts & Creativity portfolio. She currently serves on the board of Grantmakers in the Arts, a national leadership and service organization that supports the growth of arts and culture. Prior to joining Barr in 2012, San San served as director of grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission, executive director of the National Performance Network, director of development and special initiatives at Theatre Artaud, and a performing arts producer and presenter. As an international arts consultant, her clients included the Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Res Artis, among many others.

The event will be emceed by Sophan Smith, executive director of E for All Lowell. Celebrate Giving will feature presentations and performances by Lowell Chamber OrchestraFree Soil Arts Collective, and We Are America Project.

The event will also include the 2021 GLCF Business Philanthropy Partner Award presented to Western Avenue Studios and Lofts for creating an ever-evolving art hub with hundreds of studios and live workspaces. Western Avenue Studios and Lofts has helped attract innumerable artists and craftspeople to practice in Lowell. In addition, their events draw art lovers and patrons from across the region.

“Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices needed to build strong and interconnected creative communities of diverse and distinct cultures,” said Jay Linnehan, Greater Lowell Community Foundation President and CEO. “This year’s Celebrate Giving will provide an opportunity to showcase creative collaboration and hopefully inspire others in our community to get involved in this important work.”

Celebrate Giving will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are free but need to be reserved by October 10 online at Sponsorships are available.

Be a fraud fighter!
If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  AARP's watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.

SCAM ALERT #1: AARP Impostor Scams
One of the most effective things that criminals can do to gain your confidence is impersonate an organization that you do business with and trust. Sadly, no one is immune from this - not even AARP. Recently, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline has been receiving calls about a scam involving phone calls from someone claiming to be with "AARP Security Systems" (or something similar sounding). The first question they ask is whether you own your home and then they hang up. Rule of thumb...Don’t engage with anyone claiming to be from AARP Security Systems, and if you get a call like this, call the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline at 1-877-908-3360, or reporting it on zour scam map ( Anytime you are directed to pay a debt or other obligation with a gift card, it is a scam.

SCAM ALERT #2:  “Smishing”
As more of us catch on to scam calls to our smartphones and block them or don’t answer them, scammers have taken to texting. “Smishing” is the term of art: SMS + phishing. Just as scammers phish by casting a wide net with email, so they do with smishing. The same things that we suggest in order to avoid phishing attacks apply to smishing.  But texts live in this space of immediacy – scammers know we are likely to respond much faster to a text than an email. To thwart their efforts, take a pause and consider the message. Is this really my bank, or Amazon, or PayPal, or the IRS texting me? Don’t click links – access the company or agency in a way you know to be safe and see if there’s an issue. Otherwise, don’t engage.

SCAM ALERT #3: Grandparent Scams
Criminals know that fear is the best motivator, and nothing drives fear more than a loved one in trouble. This is why scams targeting grandparents seem never to go away. If someone calls claiming to be your grandchild, or some authority calling about your grandchild who is in trouble or danger, it’s most likely a scam. It’s certainly a scam if the caller directs you to send money fast to resolve the problem. Your best move is to hang up and call your grandchild or reach out to family who would know his or her whereabouts.

SCAM ALERT #4: Utility Scams
Utility scams heat up as the temperatures rise (and when they fall), so much so that the Federal Trade Commission ranks utility impostors among the top reported scams. In this one, you typically get a call, email or text saying your account is past due and you must pay immediately, or they will cut off your power.  Another tactic is the “utility” claiming you overpaid your bill, and they request your bank account information to issue a refund. Utility scammers can also show up at your door after a power outage or severe storm offering to get your power back on for a fee. Utility companies typically don’t do business this way. Any unusual communication from your utility should raise a flag. Disengage and contact your provider at a number you know to be legitimate (off of a recent statement, for example). Chances are you’ll learn that there is no problem to address.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at for more information on fraud prevention.
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OARS Annual River Cleanup

It's OARS 35th Annual River Cleanup September 17-19. Join staff and volunteers as they spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord River Watershed to clean up our rivers, streams, ponds and trails. This year, to accommodate the comfort and needs of volunteers, there are two options.

Team Up Clean Up: During the weekend, gather family and friends for a walk or a paddle near or along the river, stream or pond. Pick up what trash and recycling you can and send OARS photos of your group cleaning up! People love to see what trash is no longer in our rivers.

Cleanup Day: Saturday, September 18, from 9am–noon. A team of volunteers will tackle sites in needing a larger group effort in towns including Framingham, Westborough, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Billerica. The morning of hard work will be followed by a celebration with pizza. Registration is required. Details and registration information is available at

OARS is the watershed organization working to protect, improve, and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, their tributaries and watersheds for the purposes of public recreation, water supply, and wildlife habitat. 

Celebrate and Observe the 5782/2021 Jewish High Holidays with Congregation Shalom

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NORTH CHELMSFORD: Congregation Shalom in Chelmsford is excited to open its physical and virtual doors for the 5782/2021 Jewish High Holidays, which begin on Monday evening, September 6. Members and others seeking a “home” for the High Holidays are invited to register for the services and activities they choose for meaningful worship and joyous, enriching community experiences. Congregation Shalom is located at 87 Richardson Road.

In this ever-changing landscape, specific precautions are in place for in-person worship and activities, and other options are also available. Each individual or family can choose how to connect for each High Holiday service or activity. The options for many of the services and activities include connecting on Zoom, joining in person either indoors or outside, or live-streaming. Pre-registration is required for each in-person or Zoom service or activity. The arrangements are subject to change in response to any new developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with guidance from the CDC and state health officials.

The High Holiday services are led by Rabbi Shoshana Perry, with Meryl Gold as cantorial soloist. There is no charge for attending any of the services or activities, although donations are welcome. Congregation Shalom uses the Reform High Holiday prayer books Mishkan HaNefesh and Mishkan HaNefesh for Youth, which are available in various formats from the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

The services marked as family services are designed for families with older children who can read the youth prayer book, generally those in third grade or higher. Younger children, toddlers through second grade, are welcome instead at those services and activities marked either for children or for all ages.

Note that there will also be a food drive with collection of nonperishable items during Yom Kippur.

For the live-streaming of services, visit: For the High Holiday schedule and registration links, visit For more information about Congregation Shalom or these High Holiday plans, email, call the temple office at (978) 251-8091, or visit
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UML's LIRA Offers Fall Semester Classes

CHELMSFORD: The Learning in Retirement Association (LIRA) at University of Massachusetts/Lowell invite you to attend their Fall semester classes.  Most classes will be both in person and available via Zoom. A few will be Zoom only.

A quick sample of the Fall class topics; Women in History, Native Americans in New England, Great Decisions World Affairs Discussion Group, Abolitionist Movement in Lowell, Creation of the Universe, Hubble and the Milky Way, Scandalous History of the Masquerade Ball, Stained Glass Windows, History of Freemasonry, Dark side of Mill Girl life, The Stamp Act  and the British Colonies, Pirates of the Mediterranean, Understanding the U.S. Government, Discovering New England Stone Walls, History of the United States Post Office Through Stamps, Germany’s 2021 Election, Irish Identity: Independence, History and Literature, an interview with Enid Rocha, Discovery of a Masterpiece, and Condominium Law, The Merrimack River at Risk, and LGBTQ – History UnErased. Book and film discussion groups, a performance by the Lowell Chamber Orchestra and visits to The Museum of Printing and the American Heritage Museum will round out the program.

Detailed class descriptions, schedule and information to join LIRA - Classes begin September 13th. If you are not a member, the yearly membership fee is only $125 or $200/couple and you can take as many classes as you wish. A great way to learn and stay engaged in life.

NAMI Offers 9-Week "Family to Family" Mental Health Educational Program

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UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

: Does a “Loved One” have Mental Health concerns? Mental health conditions touch one in five people, so it is likely a spouse, partner, child, parent, sibling or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, is offering an eight week free family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidence-based program taught by trained NAMI family member volunteers who have been there. Curriculum includes presentations, discussions, videos and interactive exercises.                                                                                

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love and you’ll also find - you are not alone! The group setting offers mutual support and shared positive impact – You will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through sharing your own experiences.   

You’ll learn about: Latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain ~ Current treatments; medications – their side effects and evidenced-based treatments and therapies ~ Local mental health services and supports ~ Managing crisis, solve problems and communicate effectively ~ The impact of mental illness on the entire family ~ Taking care of yourself and managing your stress. 

The program will be held IN-PERSON starting October 12 and November 30 from 6:30 -9PM. Proof of vaccination is required. To register contact Sara at 339-223-3146 or  or Phyllis at 978-973-3995, Additional course offerings and info at
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GLCF’s Women Working Wonders Fund Awards Grants

LOWELL: The Women Working Wonders (WWW) Fund, a permanently endowed fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF), has announced the recipients of $56,800 in grants. These grants will support local nonprofit programs that empower women and girls to effect positive change in the community.

Recipients of 2021 WWW grants include:
  • $10,000 to Budget Buddies for New Workshop for Women: Financial Health for Families with Children
  • $10,000 to Challenge Unlimited for Equine Encounter: Healing to Leadership for Girls and Women
  • $10,000 to Coalition for a Better Acre for Sewing Training Program
  • $10,000 to Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell for Leadership Academy
  • $10,000 to Refuge Lowell for Girls and Young Women Creating Community Through Public Art
  • $6,800 to International Institute of NE for Creating New Avenues for Success (CNAFS)

Women Working Wonders provides annual grants in three key areas: assist women in transition, provide leadership development as well as contribute to the beautification of the environment.
Founded in 2004 by a small group of women coming together to form a collective giving organization that focused on women’s issues, the fund has made more than $250,000 in grants to organizations supporting women and girls in the Greater Lowell area. The WWW Fund’s Power of the Purse 2021 event is scheduled for October 21. For information about Fund and the upcoming event, visit:

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $50 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community. To learn more, visit:

Dangerous Heat Advisory Continues!

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a potential period of prolonged oppressive heat through Friday (8/13) in most of the Commonwealth. During this period, daytime temperature highs will be 90-99 degrees. Heat index (Apparent Temperature) values will be 95-110 degrees. Scattered showers/thunderstorms are possible in the afternoons, with the potential for a few strong to severe thunderstorms late Thursday. There is a low probability that the heat wave could continue through Saturday.
Impacts/ Potential Impacts:
- Very hot temperatures with moderate humidity. Little relief at night especially in urban population centers.
- Potential of heat related issues to at risk population and those doing higher levels of outdoor physical activities.
- Damaging straight line winds and localized street flooding are possible on Thursday in areas where severe thunderstorms occur.
Preparedness and Safety Information:
- Safety and preparedness tips for extreme heat:
- Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20°F within 10 minutes.
- Check with your local officials to find locations of cooling centers near you.
- Know the symptoms of and watch out for heat-related illnesses like heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies.
- Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, those who may need additional assistance, and those who may not have air conditioning.
Power outage preparedness and safety information:
Preparedness and safety tips for thunderstorms and lightning:
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Join the Maynard Folds Virtual Origami Exhibition Contest

MAYNARD: Be an origami museum exhibitor in The Origami Museum, founded and led by artist and teacher, Lisa B. Corfman.  Corfman announces Maynard Folds, a virtual origami exhibition contest – come exhibit in the upcoming Origami Museum Community Gallery. The origami museum welcomes EVERYONE to submit from children and adults, and from novices to experts to be in the spotlight.

Entries can be anything you can do, neatly folded, nicely presented (with fitting paper used, etc.), without cutting, gluing, or drawing on the model.  Just share something you are happy with for fame in the origami museum’s online gallery.  Don’t fret, just enjoy and do your best.  Origami can be simple, fun, or even amazing.  A personal note with questions, comments or concern is always welcome.

All contestants who submit will exhibit within the origami museum website, receive a certificate of participation, have a mention on Instagram and Facebook and receive a selection of origami paper.  Awards for one top child and one adult winner features a certificate of honor, a solo Instagram and Facebook post and an online membership to OrigamiUSA.

There are three jurors and the just listed prizes.  Jurors are Ruthanne Bessman, Susan Dugan and Lisa B. Corfman.  Bessman is a long-term curator of origami exhibitions and contests.  Dugan is a 40-year veteran of origami and is a photography professor.  Corfman makes, sells, teaches, and showcases origami inspired art and she is bringing this opportunity to you!

There are the two categories for origami model submissions: under 18 and adults.  Eligible contestants are within a 20-mile radius from Maynard, whether home, work, or school.  Here are the towns in this eligible catchment area:

Acton | Ashland | Arlington| Ayer | Bedford | Belmont | Berlin | Billerica | Bolton | Boxborough | Boylston | Carlisle | Chelmsford | Clinton | Concord | Devens |Dover | Framingham | Groton | Hanscom AFB| Harvard | Hudson | Lancaster | Lexington | Lincoln | Littleton | Marlborough | Maynard | Natick | Northborough | Sherborn | Shirley | South Lancaster | Southborough | Sterling | Still River | Stow | Sudbury | Waltham | Watertown | Wayland | Wellesley | Westford | Weston

The juried contest is sponsored by the Maynard Cultural Council and OrigamiUSA.  The goal is to increase folds!

Find out more at: Maynard Folds information, statement about the jurors, and the application can be found there.

Help For Families: Mental Health Challenges

UPDATE: All programs, due to the increase in active Delta Covid transmissions and illness on the rise in MA, will be be conducted only on Zoom.

Mental illness touches one in five people. It is likely a spouse, partner, child, sibling, parent or dear friend of yours may be living with a mental health condition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI is offering a FREE 8 session family educational program called “Family to Family”. It is a designated evidenced-based program. The program is taught by NAMI trained family member volunteers who have been there - and includes presentations, discussion, and interactive exercises.

What will you gain? The class provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, and you’ll also find out – you are not alone! The group setting provides mutual support and shared positive impact – you will experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experiences.

You’ll learn about: The latest up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they impact the brain. Current treatments: Medications - their therapeutic use and side effects, current treatments and therapies. Local mental health services and supports. Managing crisis, problem solving techniques and effective communication. The emotional impact of mental illness on the entire family. Taking care of yourself and managing your stress.

Two Programs are sponsored by NAMI Central Middlesex for fall 2021.  Thursdays via ZOOM, Sept 16 – Nov 4th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. To register contact Steve at 978-621-3253, or Lindsay at 781-864-7003, Tuesdays IN PERSON in Littleton MA Oct 12th – Nov 30th, 6:30 – 9:00 PM. proof of vaccination is required. To register, contact Sara at 339-223-3146, or Phyllis at 978.973.3995,

Chelmsford Military & Veterans Appreciation Cookout

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Military Community Covenant Task Force is sponsoring a free cookout in appreciation of active, reserve, National Guard, veterans and their families on Tuesday, August 10 from 5-7pm at the Chelmsford Elks Lodge at 300 Littleton Road.  The general public is welcome to attend to meet and support our local military members.  On the menu will be cheeseburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, chips and soft drinks. A cash bar will be available.

The Chelmsford Military Community Covenant was established by the Chelmsford Board of Selectmen in 2009 in partnership with Hanscom Air Force Base as a formal effort to support military families living in Chelmsford. The primary purpose of the program is to make Chelmsford feel more welcoming for military families and veterans by drawing upon a support network of volunteers and contributions from the local business community. For more information or to volunteer with the Task Force, please visit

Chelmsford Recycling Committee Asks Residents to Complete Survey

CHELMSFORD: The Chelmsford Recycling Committee is asking residents to complete a brief survey that will help the town protect the environment and reduce disposal costs. In Massachusetts, compostable waste accounts for over 1 million tons and over 25% of the waste stream each year, according to the Recycling Committee. Composting is the best way to dispose of food scraps without sending them to the incinerator. The survey is open to both residents and business owners and will help the Committee determine local interest in curbside or drop off composting services. Please see the Town of Chelmsford website to take the survey:

Greater Lowell Community Foundation Elects Three to Board of Directors

LOWELL: At the Greater Lowell Community Foundation Virtual Annual Meeting on June 8th, the Board of Directors approved the election of three local business and community leaders to the board. These newly elected directors represent business, housing, and the technology sector. The new board members will each serve a three-year term. Joining the board of directors are:

- Stephanie Cronin of Dunstable, Executive Director of Middlesex 3: Stephanie Cronin is the Executive Director of the Middlesex 3 Coalition, a regional economic development organization (, which fosters business development and job growth and retention along the Route 3 corridor. In addition, Stephanie currently serves on the MCC Foundation Board of Directors, MassHire Greater Lowell Workforce Board, FORGE Northeast Massachusetts Advisory Council, Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, and Hanscom Air Force Civic Leader Program.
 - Daniel Donahue of Lowell, of Gavin and Sullivan: Daniel Donahue earned his associate’s degree in Architectural Engineering Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1984. That same year he worked for the National Park Service in the North Atlantic Regional Office as an architectural, mechanical, and electrical draftsman. In 1985 he joined Gavin & Sullivan Architects, Inc. (formerly William J. Gavin Associates) as an architectural designer/draftsman and has remained with the company ever since.
- Diana Nguyen of Westford, Project Manager at MilliporeSigma: Diana Nguyen is currently Project Manager at MilliporeSigma in Burlington, MA. In this position, Nguyen provides critical support to the Integrated Supply Chain Operations leadership team, manages strategic projects, and develops a global talent pipeline of aspiring and curious leaders. Nguyen has been with MilliporeSigma since April 2017. Prior to joining the organization, she worked as  a Project Manager and participated in the Global Organizational Leadership Development Program at Avery Dennison. Nguyen is a Lowell High School graduate, and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Psychological Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and is pursuing a Global Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Rotman and SDA Bocconi schools.

“I am pleased that such wonderful community leaders have accepted to serve on our board of directors. These individuals bring with them a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives,” said Jay Linnehan, GLCF’s President & CEO. “We are excited to welcome the talent, expertise, and energy of Stephanie, Daniel, and Diana to further GLCF’s mission.”

Established in 1997, the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF) is a philanthropic organization comprised of more than 390 funds dedicated to improving the quality of life in 21 neighboring cities and towns. With financial assets of more than $50 million, GLCF annually awards grants and scholarships to hundreds of worthy nonprofits and students. It is powered by the winning combination of donor-directed giving, personal attention from Foundation staff, and an in-depth understanding of local needs. The generosity of our donors has enabled the Community Foundation to award more than $25 million to the Greater Lowell community. To learn more, visit:

AARP Massachusetts Fraud Watch Update: July 2021

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Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.  Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at for more information on fraud prevention.

Warm weather is here which means door-to-door sales crews are here, too. But what they’re selling isn’t always legit. Be cautious anytime a stranger comes knocking, especially if the visitor is trying to sell you goods or services. Be wary of contractors who say they stopped by because they just happened to be in the neighborhood. The good ones are usually too busy to roam around in search of work. Also be on guard for high pressure tactics to make a quick decision for a steep discount, and requests for payment upfront. Your best bet is to proactively seek out services if you need them, versus reacting to an unexpected sales pitch. It’s always okay to explain you don’t do business at your front door (or to not answer when strangers knock).

Many scams originate right at your fingertips through your computer or smartphone. The good news is the way to block them is also within your grasp. Here are three tips to keep your devices safe from criminals. Make sure your devices’ operating systems are up to date; you should be able to set an auto-update feature that downloads the latest software when available. Next, make sure to change the password on your Wi-Fi router so it’s different from the password it came with. If you have a lot of devices connected to it, they could be vulnerable if the router is compromised. Lastly, a password manager is a great way to create unique and hard-to-guess passwords for all of your online accounts and apps.

America is open for business again and millions of people are traveling, or planning to. One thing you may run into is sticker shock – especially with rental cars. The lack of travel in 2020 led rental companies to sell a lot of their inventory of cars. Now that demand has spiked, supply is tight and prices are high.
Unfortunately, criminals are paying attention and posting fake rental car deals at rock bottom prices online. While everyone loves a good deal, doing business with an entity you aren’t familiar with could be risky. Whatever your travel needs, stick to reputable websites with proven track records. If you do find a deal with an unfamiliar provider, do your research: look up the company name with “scam” or “complaint” and see what appears, and check out reviews.

Who doesn’t love something for free? But beware, that “free trial offer” might mean months of payments that you didn’t know you signed up for and will have a hard time canceling. These types of sales tactics are called negative options – a customer signs up for a free trial and unwittingly accepts a subscription – sometimes for a questionable product – often by not seeing a pre-checked box in the very tiny print. When it comes to free trials, research before you enroll. Fully understand the terms and conditions by reading the fine print. Keep a close eye on your credit and debit card statements so you spot unexpected charges right away. Contact your bank or credit card company to address the issue; calling the company you inadvertently signed up for a subscription with will likely get you nowhere.

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

Haarstick Wraps Up SVT Term; Two Openings for 2021-2022

CHELMSFORD: Jonathan Haarstick of Chelmsford is wrapping up his term of service at Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) in Sudbury, where he has been working for the past 11 months through the TerraCorps/AmeriCorps program. TerraCorps places young conservationists at land trusts and other nonprofits in Massachusetts so they can gain valuable, first-hand experience in various aspects of land conservation.Members receive a living allowance and educational benefits in return for their service. SVT has two openings for the 2021-2022 term that starts in August. Learn more at

Westford's Olivia Dunn Receives Prestigious P.E.O. STAR Scholarship

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CHELMSFORD: Olivia Dunn, a 2021 graduate of Westford Academy, was selected to receive a $2,500 STAR Scholarship from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was recommended by P.E.O. Chapter AI of Chelmsford, whose members congratulate Olivia for this honor. The STAR Scholarship award will be presented to Olivia on July 13, 2021 at the Westford Farmer’s Market on the common near the bandstand at 5:30pm.

Olivia was a summer intern at the Westford Museum, a member of the Westford Academy Museum Club, student-lead on the Westford Academy Theater Arts Board and Advertising Manager of the Westford Teen Arts Council.  During two years as Captain of the Westford Academy soccer team, she organized a fundraiser that raised over $700 for uniforms and equipment and was voted MVP by her teammates.  Olivia inspired her teammates to participate in the National Brain Tumor Society’s annual Boston walk for which the team raised over $100k. Olivia is an overcomer with a positive attitude who actively looks for ways to help others. She has vision for her future.  She loves working with people and would like to be an engineering manager.  She was to intern with a family friend at Lego when COVID-19 hit.  She looks forward to pursuing this avenue once the pandemic is over.  She will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

The P.E.O. STAR Scholarship was established in 2009 to provide scholarships for exceptional high school senior women to attend an accredited post-secondary educational institution in the U.S. or Canada in the next academic year. The competitive STAR Scholarship is for women who exhibit excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service and potential for future success.

P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) has been celebrating women helping women reach for the stars for more than 150 years. Since its inception in 1869, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 116,000* women pursue educational goals by providing over $383 million* in grants, scholarships, awards and loans. The Sisterhood also owns and supports Cottey College. Through membership, the P.E.O. Sisterhood has brought together more than a half a million women in the United States and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance through education, while supporting and motivating them. In addition to the educational philanthropies, the P.E.O. Sisterhood provides a framework of support and community for all members. What started with a bond of friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is now one of the oldest women’s organizations in North America with close to 6,000 chapters. To learn more about P.E.O. and its powerful educational philanthropies and to see stories of women who have benefited from these programs, visit
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MCC’s Summer Theatre Camp for Kids Returns to In-Person Format

LOWELL: Throughout the pandemic, Middlesex Community College’s Theatre department has provided students with performance opportunities – from online courses to socially distanced Zoom productions. As part of the College for Kids 2021 summer programming, Middlesex is bringing back the Summer Theatre Camp for Kids for an in-person experience.

Young performers ages 8 to 17 will have the opportunity to rehearse, stage and mount a full musical production with professional lights, sets and costumes at MCC’s Richard and Nancy Donahue Family Academic Arts Center in Lowell, under direction of Karen Oster, MCC’s Chair of Performing Arts.

This year’s production will be “James and the Giant Peach, Jr.” The program will run 9am through 4pm, Monday through Friday, starting on August 2. Final performances will take place on Friday, August 13 and Saturday, August 14.

The mission of the camp is to provide a fun and exciting environment for kids to explore theatre arts, and to encourage creative growth, teamwork and a “company” mentality. The camp believes children of all ages are capable of “magnificent” things and there are no limits to their creativity. Many of the young performers who participate in MCC’s Summer Theatre Camp remain with the program for years.

For information, visit or call 781-280-3663.

DONORS URGENTLY NEEDED: Red Cross Still Facing Severe Blood Shortage

The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the country. Donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products over the Fourth of July holiday and beyond.

Right now, the Red Cross is working around the clock to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and resulting transplants. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care. 

In addition, while summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout. The need for blood doesn’t take a holiday break − patients still depend on lifesaving transfusions.

Donors are needed now to prevent further delays to patient care. Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, all those who come to give July 1-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat by mail,* while supplies last. And, donors who come to give July 7-31 will receive a $10 Gift Card by email, plus a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). (Terms and conditions apply; visit 
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center Re-open The Treasure Shop

CHELMSFORD: Treasure Shop Grand Re-Opening! On Friday, July 2, 2021, 9am, The Friends of the Chelmsford Senior Center will be re-opening The Treasure Shop for business and lots of fun shopping. The doors will open for you to come and browse and purchase; while, at the same time, supporting Senior Center activities. As a non-profit, all volunteer organization, 100% of the purchase amounts go to help the Senior Center. The Friends Treasure Shop “re-start” schedule for July will be Mondays-Wednesdays-Fridays in the mornings from 9:00am to 11:00am. They are planning to expand these hours as senior activities and attendance grows.

The Friends are also looking to increase the number of Treasure Shop volunteers willing to help a few hours per week and/or substitute for others when they are unavailable. Please leave your name and phone number/email at the Senior Center office. They continue to accept donations of new and gently used, clean clothing for any season as well as small household items, jewelry, yarn, gift cards and other such gift items. Stop by, browse and find your treasures, all for a good cause!